My case differs from most tapers in my period, I think. The northeast region's huge crowds for GD shows in 1973 was a big factor for me. I'm from the NYC metro area. RFK Stadium crowds were 60,000 to 100,000. Watkins Glens was 600,000. Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City was a small crowd by comparison, at 15,000 to 20,000 or so. I also hit their shows at Nassau Coliseum and The Spectrum. But I had unlimited opportunity in my area to seek alternatives to extremely huge GD crowds. I'm curious what others (like Jeff Kaplan) did?
We had some excellent musicians who were in some very good bands in my area. Here's about an old fishing story I told six months ago.
David Lemieux recently described how you could really hear GD's country influence in 1972 and E-72. NRPS were the Cowboy Leaders of the GD Family. This was just discussed.
So I converted to Cowboy in 1973. My neighborhood had many opportunities! It produced some very good musicians. Al Di Meola is one of them. We had numerous musicians and bands from my area that were very good. Among them, we had a clone GD band, a clone Hot Tuna band - with much better violin playing than Papa John Creach (screach), and a John Cipollina clone. I hung out with all of them, except for Di Meola, whom I did not know.
Van Manakas was John Cipollina. John Zias was Jerry Garcia. Eric Levine was a much, much better violin player than Papa John Creach. Eric and Van also played in the Stoney Creek bluegrass band.
At one point, we had Manakas doing Cipollina, and Zias doing Garcia, playing together in the same band - VERY remarkable!. That band was named Hell's Half Acre, after this very bizarre spot nearby Casper, Wyoming. Van was the biggest Cowboy in our bunch at this time, and he had this "thing" for Wyoming, big time! I was at every gig that Hell's Half Acre ever played. The Starship Troopers sci-fi movie that was released in 1997 was filmed in Hell's Half Acre in 1996.
Hell's Half Acre in Wyoming
Wayne Lopes played as Jorma Kaukonen in our Hot Tuna clone band. He was very good at it. His lead vocals, finger-picking electric guitar, and his mannerisms were very impressive. Wayne is in NYC.
Brett Richardson played like Phil Lesh and Jack Cassidy. Brett had Alembic speaker cabinets with JBLs, a Macintosh amplifier, and he knew everything about Phil and Jack's sound equipment and their expensive Alembic bass guitars. Brett had very long blonde hair. He played a nice looking blonde Guild bass guitar. Sounded great. The first time I heard anything about Alembic, I heard about it from Brett Richardson. Brett was with me when I taped June 10, 1973. Jay Delia was with me when I taped June 9. Brett and I drove to RFK Stadium (Allmans and Dead) from his place. Jay Delia went there with several carloads of my GD friends. Those cars stopped by Brett's place first, but we just missed them. (Brett lived at his grandmother's house.) Then Brett and I showed up at his grandmother's place, ready to hit the road, about 15 minutes later. His grandmother was saying - about the carloads of Dead-heads, "There was a whole 'contingent' of them!"
Needless to say, I taped many shows and incarnations of all these Bergenfield-area bands, artists, and musicians in 1973 and 1974. I learned an awful lot about sound equipment during this period, and I started getting into electronics. Brett Richardson is a also very good fresh water fisherman. We fished together a few times at Oradell Reservoir. I left the area in 1974.